Sticking to a budget, let alone creating one, can be challenging in today’s tough economy. With 2015 quickly approaching, it is time to look back at the successes and struggles from 2014 so we can structure our marketing budget accordingly.
There are many important aspects to consider when faced with the often overwhelming task of balancing our advertising and marketing budgets. Many questions come to mind — what are the new digital trends we should be embracing? How should our budget be allocated across different channels? How much attention should be given to online versus offline marketing?
Mobility is an Absolute Must
This can never be overemphasized or underestimated in today’s rapidly expanding mobile marketplace. Going mobile is simply something that cannot afford to be ignored or overlooked in order to stay competitive and move forward. The first place to look is at your website, is it mobile-friendly? Can it be seen on smartphones, tablets and iPhones?
But don’t stop there, consider these other mobile strategies and see if they are applicable for your unique situation. Statics show that four out of five people use their smartphones to shop, so could your business benefit from:
- SMS (Short Message Service) or Push Notifications – delivering coupons, announcing new products, sales and clearance items, the possibilities are almost endless.
- QR (Quick Response) Codes – From PayPal’s mobile payment scan to the use of ticket and coupon codes, these black-and-white bar codes are here to stay.
- Integrate with Social Media – allow consumers to read reviews by sharing access buttons linked to all the popular platforms.
There are dozens of different options to consider with mobile marketing, these are just a few of the more popular choices. Do some research into where your dollars are best spent on some of these necessary line items.
The Cross Channel Approach
This method is similar to integrating with social media platforms as it delivers your advertising and marketing messages across many different channels, email, mobile, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and social.
Many find the whole concept of SEO confusing with all of the algorithms, meta tags and search term methodologies involved. Due to the complexity of this approach, often third-party vendors are hired to control, manage and implement these types of marketing strategies. They are often tailored to meet the needs of the organization, big or small, and designed to be more affordable depending upon your unique circumstances.
Online vs Offline
We may disagree on whether or not print media is dying, but these antiquated methods are getting closer to engaging with the Grim Reaper rather than cuddling up with the New Year’s babe. After all, when is the last time you watched a news program, read a live feed, viewed a video announcement as opposed to picking up a newspaper?
Once the baby-boomers start to disappear, it is likely that phone books, printed magazines, newspapers and other paper media will begin to follow suit. If your target audience falls into this older generation, you may still see some success, but expect that to dwindle as the younger crowd starts taking over.
Television is still a popular form of advertising and even that form of marketing is seeing a new, more modern, mobile twist. Take the soda giant Coca Cola, who campaigned a mobile voting strategy during the 2013 Super Bowl.
In their ad, fictional characters from popular movies were racing across the desert to see who would get to the beverage first. Viewer were casting their ballots on who they believed would be the victor using their smartphones. When results of the race were shown later, this gained further attention and interaction.
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing, given all of today’s rapidly advancing technologies, some strategies are necessary regardless of cost. If you don’t stay current in the race, you’ll likely be blown away by the competition.
By David Landry: An online journalist and personal finance advisor living in Southern California. In addition to researching about the impact of visual content, his writing also covers business globalization, communication technology and social media marketing.